Most people tend to take their teeth for granted until toothache takes over and the pain becomes all-consuming. But what is the actual purpose of human teeth?
Not only do they help us to eat and digest our food, teeth play a vital role in speech, pronunciation, and your overall health.
Looking to learn more about your pearly whites? Discover 10 little-known dental facts in this blog!
Understanding the Human Tooth
Human teeth are divided into two parts: the root and the crown of the tooth which is visible, just above the gum. Each tooth is comprised of four different types of tissue:
- Enamel- a hardy material which covers and protects the crown of the tooth
- Dentin- this material is found underneath the enamel and is similar to bone
- Cementum- this is a tissue that covers the root of each tooth and helps anchor your teeth to your jaw bone
- Pulp- this is found at the core of each tooth and contains nerves, blood vessels, other soft tissues which keep your teeth alive
If any of these components wear down over time, this can lead to sore, tender teeth, which is a fairly common adult ailment.
10 Dental Facts For Better Tooth Knowledge
You only get one pair of adult teeth in your entire lifetime, so here’s a little bit of knowledge to encourage better care of them!
1. Dental Hygiene Dates Back Centuries
The history of dental hygiene dates back millennia to around 5,000 B.C. when the ancient Egyptians used crushed eggshells and animal hooves to polish their teeth.
In other parts of the world, ancient civilizations used frayed twigs as a means to clean out their teeth. But by the 1700s, dental hygiene had come a long way and the first toothbrush was invented using bone china and boar bristles.
By the 1930s the first nylon-headed toothbrush had been developed, while the first electric toothbrush made an appearance in 1954.
2. Your Teeth Say More About You Than You Think
Your teeth are one of the only lasting records of your personal history and health and can survive hundreds of years without severe damage.
Scientists and historians can decipher a great deal about any human by just examining their teeth. This includes your age, your diet, where you may have lived, periods of illness or stress in your life, and overall health.
3. No Tooth is the Same
We’re not just talking about one set of teeth to the next – no tooth in your entire mouth is the same as the other. Each tooth is 100% unique with its own shape, size, and composition.
This also accounts for your 20 baby teeth and your new set of 32 adult teeth. It just goes to show that your smile is a true stamp of your individuality!
4. Your Teeth Are Ready and Waiting Before Birth
On the day that you are born your first set of teeth are fully formed and in place underneath your gums. In other words, they are ready and waiting to break through when the time is right. This is usually anywhere between 3-6 months after birth.
As a child grows, the root and crown of their adult teeth are already in formation, lying dormant underneath their baby teeth. As soon as the first set of milk teeth begin to fall out, the adult tooth will push its way through.
5. The Spaces Between Your Teeth Are Equally Important
Most people are under the impression that brushing the tops and sides of the teeth are all that’s needed for adequate dental hygiene. But this is not the case!
The surfaces between your teeth are equally as important when it comes to dental hygiene – hence the reason you should always floss! These surfaces can become a breeding ground for bacteria, so remember to keep those tooth gaps clean.
6. Tooth Enamel is The Most Resilient Part of Your Body
That’s right- over and above the resilience of your skin or the robust nature of bone, enamel outshines them all. And for good reason too…
Enamel acts as a protective top coat for every single tooth, protecting the softer, yet more important tooth tissue below. Considering you only have one set to last you an entire lifetime, they need all the protection they can get.
7. Humans Have Four Different Types of Teeth
While every single tooth in your mouth is completely unique, it is home to four types of teeth of the same variation. This includes your incisors, canines, premolars, and molars.
We use these types of teeth primarily for eating- to cut, tear, and grind food which enables digestion.
8. Your Teeth Are Constantly Covered in Bacteria
This is due to the fact that your mouth is always full of saliva, which carries a plethora of different types of bacteria.
In fact, dental plaque alone is made of over 300 different forms of bacteria. However, it’s worth noting that this bacteria is not all bad.
9. Your Teeth Are as Unique as Your Fingerprint
As mentioned previously, your teeth are 100% unique to you – most especially because no tooth in your mouth is the same as the next.
The next step in identifying a person, other than using fingerprints, is with their dental records.
10. Your Saliva Serves a Purpose
It may seem like a staggering number, but your mouth actually produces over 25,000 quarts of saliva in your lifetime. And yes, there’s a good reason for it!
Saliva serves a number of important functions including assistance in digestion and protecting your teeth from the bacteria in your mouth.
Live Your Best Life With Humble Musings
Looking to embrace a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle? Humble Musings is your go-to for tips, articles, and advice on all things dental facts, health, fitness, diet advice, and more.
Check out this blog on three daily habits you should practice to embrace a healthy lifestyle…